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Fluxes associated with brine motion in growing sea ice


Laboratory and field studies have demonstrated that fluid motion occurs at two locations in growing sea ice: in a network of brine channels and within the skeletal layer at the ice-water interface. Brine channel fluxes estimated using brine channel areal density from natural sea ice and channel velocities from laboratory studies are compared with recent measurements reported in the literature. Fluxes into the porous skeletal layer of sea ice may be estimated using rates of nutrient uptake by ice algae and adjacent seawater nutrient concentrations. Both approaches indicate fluxes of the order of 10-6 cc cm-2 s-1 (l m-2 h-1), which are about equal to fluxes reported in bioirrigated sediments. Fluxes of this magnitude indicate a very short residence time for the liquid phase in the skeletal layer, suggesting that this fluid motion may be important in maintaining the ice algae community. © 1984 Springer-Verlag.

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